Braintree, the eBay subsidiary that designs payment software for many online and mobile companies, may soon accept virtual currency payments
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said Braintree, the payments-focused subsidiary of eBay, is studying the possibility of paying with bitcoin, the world’s main virtual currency.
Braintree, part of the PayPal Group, which eBay acquired in 2002, provides payment software used by many internet and mobile companies, such as peer-to-peer rental platform Airbnb or Uber-driver delivery vehicles.
Neither eBay nor PayPal currently accept virtual currency payments, but they may do so in the near future. When acquired by eBay last December, Braintree managed more than $12 billion in payments annually.
Bitcoin, despite its nebulous status, has gradually entered the currency panel accepted by online merchants. In France, Monoprix was one of the first to announce support for its use, “by the end of the year.”
Bitcoin accounts for 90% of the virtual currency market. Born in 2009 by an unknown developer, it was created through an algorithm and can be held and traded anonymously, often raising suspicions of being used for money laundering purposes. Its main flaws remain its very high volatility, which makes it a potentially speculative currency, and the lack of external regulatory mechanisms.